Nick James

“Noh Noh://Hack Mask”

If Stephen Hawking’s focal intent is for readers to understand what Imaginary Time is, but claims very few people get it, it’s clear that he’s more of a scientist than a culturist. Which is chill, and probably REALLY important, but had he seen the new Nick James video for “Noh Noh://Hack Mask” directed by TFran Dah, he’d surely be proven wrong.

The track “Noh Noh://Hack Mask” has been deemed by Nick Jams as a “virtual political space, sonically,” and as I hear it (and see it), the dude is right. I’m nodding here at my desk to NOTHING (at some points). And, as I’m not sure what political facet he’s referring to, but “Noh Noh://Hack Mask” is a fucking adventure. It actually sounds more like the soundtrack to a murderous, long crawl to freedom prison escape. Wearing, of course, a jump suit and a Koomote mask, no doubt. Yet, whatever you think while hearing and experiencing the visuals of Nick James’ “Noh Noh://Hack Mask,” a sense of personal creative stirs, so just ride with it wherever your destination dimension lies.

“Noh Noh://Hack Mask” off of Nick James’ new EP The Hawk dropping on Asystems June 24. Scope the video above!

• Nick James:
• Asystems:

Sole & DJ Pain 1

Death Drive

A possibly informative, definitely speculative, loosely conceptual timeline leading up to the release of Sole and DJ Pain 1’s Death Drive:

September 11, 2009: Sole retools Rick Ross’ “Every Day I’m Hustling,” includes the line, “And I ain’t from nowhere, homey’s a nomad/ In the Rockies, where I wage my fucking jihad,” decides he enjoys rapping over trap drums, resolves to continue exploring the subgenre.

June 29, 2010: Rick Ross drops “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast),” includes the line, “I think I’m Big Meech, Larry Hoover,” which soon becomes part of the American vernacular. Sole watches the phrase go viral, as does Lil B.

March 21, 2011: Lil B unveils the video for “Think I’m Based God,” continues doing songs about various cultural icons he thinks he is. In the tradition of Wesley Willis, many of these songs have beats that sound similar, if not identical, to one another. Sole hears this, experiences some form of ego death, finds in Lil B a kindred spirit.

May 5, 2011: Sole puts out “I Think I’m Noam Chomsky,” an attack on neo-liberalism rapped over a beat consisting of a Carl Orff sample set to trap drums. No producer credit is given.

July 19, 2011: Sole and the Skyrider Band premiere “Bad Captain Swag” featuring Lil B.

October 8, 2011: Sole posts the video for “I Think I’m Ben Bernake,” in which he portrays “Ben Bernake in the near future as a homeless drunk living in a shanty.” The lyrics and beat recall “I Think I’m Noam Chomsky,” but again no producer credit is listed.

March 7, 2013: Sole debuts the “I Think I’m Emma Goldman” video, includes the line, “Avant-garders say I’m dumbing it down/ But Emma didn’t speak in riddles, she spoke in the common tongue.” The song sticks to the same format as the previous “I Think I’m…” tunes, but this time DJ Pain 1 is credited as the producer.

February 20, 2014: The Death Drive trailer arrives, filling in some of the logistical gaps.

June 9, 2014: Death Drive is independently released.

• Sole:
• DJ Pain 1:


“Phase Stone to Love”

Let’s take some time to appreciate the under-loved late 90s Sci-Fi series Sliders, when Jerry O’Connell stopped being the chubby kid from Stand By Me and started being the literate man we all know him as. The series detailed the triumphs of Jerry O’Connell, Jerry O’Connell’s professor, Jerry O’Connell’s lady, and Levi Stubbs reincarnate sliding between alternative universes trying to get back to their own. It’s Jerry O’Connell, going earth to earth, ad infinitum where his only constant was the slide. It must have felt like home, a bright, interstellar hometown where Jerry O’Connell’s OBE allows him to make light jazzy dance tracks and release it to us under the name Euglossine.

Snow Broth has Euglossine’s lastest 50 minute OBE Tropical Popsicle available in a cassette and digital download.

• Euglossine:
• Snow Broth:

Dark Sky


Since breaking out as a record label a few years back, Brooklyn imprint Mister Saturday Night has extended the feel-good, positive vibes of their regular NYC dance parties into a slew of killer records. “Clear,” a track taken from the upcoming MSN compilation record Brothers and Sisters, shows off the melancholic house leanings of London trio Dark Sky. Starting off with a dusty, shuffling drum pattern, Dark Sky mix up a frothy brew of piercing synths and forlorn, classic house vocals that is sure to get people moving on the dancefloor. Brothers and Sisters is available to pre-order in either CD or LP formats, and contains unreleased and vinyl only gems from MSN heavy hitters Archie Pelago, Alex Burkat, and Lumigraph, just to name a few.

• Dark Sky:
• Mister Saturday Night:



Can’t live without a steady rhythm? Always in need of some syncopated solace? Want a whole bunch of real gnarly-charlie grooves to help cure them beatless blues? Do doves cry? And if so, do they make a noise? And if so, is this what it sounds like? How many fingers am I holding up? Who drank the last of the milk? Is gold really malleable? Need anything else?

Enough questions! Low-Key is here to shut my inquisitive trap, letting Soft speak for itself… uh, softly… well, loudly too. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that these beatstrumentals ride. Background hi-hats intermingle with the rest of the up-in-the-mix kit, while horns, keys, and strings take their turns looping infinitely and getting murked by filter and vinyl sim. Nothing ultra-modern or hyper or overly-fractured; just some good-ass, laid-back jams, all seeped and steeped in deep crates. Recently released on Rotifer’s new offshoot Snow Broth, the hard copies are only one-hundred deep, and at least half are already gone, so grab one up while you can.

In other Low-Key news (that would be SUCH a good news show!), he just released a split with Eighty9s on his label Humble Weight, and it’s in the same league as Soft: mellow, limited, and going quick. Dude just can’t stop.

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• Snow Broth:


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.